Friday, October 3, 2003

Hercules, Xena get greedy

Los Angeles -- Hercules and Xena are joining forces in a lawsuit against Universal Studios over pay.

"Xena: Warrior Princess" star Lucy Lawless and "Hercules" star Kevin Sorbo filed separate breach-of-contract lawsuits Tuesday accusing the company of denying them money from the adjusted gross receipts of their syndicated shows.

Sorbo and Lawless said that they had agreements with Universal entitling them to a percentage of the receipts, but that Universal had improperly reduced the receipts and increased distribution expenses and production costs to deny them the money.

From late night to NBA

Minneapolis -- Late-night wisecracker Craig Kilborn, a native Minnesotan, will suit up with the Minnesota Timberwolves next week when the team meets for training camp.

The host of CBS' "The Late Late Show With Craig Kilborn," who played basketball for Hastings High School and Montana State, is an unabashed Wolves fan.

Wolves coach Flip Saunders on Monday officially invited Kilborn to join the squad for a few workouts, although the visit had been in the works for weeks.

Kilborn, 41, will practice Monday and Tuesday with the Wolves at the team's training camp in St. Cloud.

"Two words for you: bounce pass," Kilborn said. "I have two more words for you: groin pull."

Italy taps Oscar contender

Rome -- Gabriele Salvatores' "Io non Ho Paura" ("I'm Not Scared") has been selected as Italy's candidate for this year's Academy Awards.

The movie, based on Niccolo Ammaniti's popular novel and set in a small village in Sicily, tells of the relationship between a boy who's been abducted and the son of his kidnapper.

"I hope I can represent Italy well," Salvatores told the AGI news agency Wednesday. "'Io non Ho Paura' is not only the tale of a kidnapping, it is also and above all a parable about the passage from childhood to adulthood."

Bringing Magic to home-buying

New York -- Magic Johnson, the former Los Angeles Lakers star, joined with Washington Mutual to open a new home loan center in Harlem as part of a nationwide effort to help residents in low- to medium-income neighborhoods buy homes.

"Together, I know that we will bring new opportunity and positive change to our communities," said Kerry Killinger, Washington Mutual's chairman.

The Harlem center, which opened Wednesday, is the first of its kind in a five-year partnership between the bank and Johnson Development Corp. that seeks to further economic development in minority communities.

"Our mutual passion for educating people about how they can get a mortgage for a new home will make this partnership successful," Johnson said.